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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Exotic (08/08/13)

TITLE: Birdsong
By Kenn Allan
~3rd Place


In the Garden of Eden when all things were new
Near the top of a tree not much taller than you,
Sat a bird of grand plumage so vivid and bold
All the creatures would wander near just to behold.

The bird perched on those branches from morning 'til night
Preening each fancy feather with newfound delight
Until each stunning color was worthy to share
And help beautify Eden for all who dwelt there.

Bright and early one morning, the bird was engaged
Plucking out any feathers that looked frayed or aged
When another bird waddled across its domain
Who looked near the same size but incredibly plain.

As they studied each other with black birdie eyes,
The mere fact they were different was clear to surmise,
Yet they both sensed a reason to loudly endorse
Why they'd each been created (in Birdspeak, of course).

The bright bird was first to declare its decree―
"Have you ever seen anyone striking as me?
I'm hard to be missed and a pleasure to see,
So I sit in plain sight near the top of this tree."

The other bird chirped, "What you say might be true―
I must say, I do feel some attraction in you,
But my days are much safer down here out of view
Where I tend to blend in with my ruddy-brown hue."

So they brooded and tweeted and scolded and fought
Over which bird was better and which bird was not
Until nothing was seen but two beaks and a frown
Amid ruffles of feathers, both brilliant and brown.

They might still be debating if not for a cow
(Who was several times smarter than cows living now)―
She caught wind of the squabble and found it absurd,
So she stepped forth to mediate bovine-to-bird.

She knelt down between the two avian foes
So she'd look like she took neither side, I suppose,
Then she listened to each as they spoke unimpeded―
When they finished, she swallowed her cud and proceeded.

"One plain-colored bird and another exotic
Seems hardly a reason to go all psychotic―
There may be good reasons, and probably are,
Why your wide variations appear so bizarre.

"Bright colors, for instance, enhance comprehension
When flapping forewarnings or seeking attention,
And when watching for serpents, I'm sure you'll agree,
Near the top of a tree is the best place to be.

"On the other hoof, earthtones are quite beneficial
For remaining concealed among rock, clay, and thistle―
When you're scratching for food or preparing a nest,
Being able to blend into shadows is best."

She paused for a moment of deep concentration
As she weighed the effects of her wise dissertation―
But then something peculiar not noticed before
Tickled three of her tummies right down to the core.

"Don't you hear it?" she giggled and grinned at the birds,
"The sheer irony here is too funny for words―
I'm embarrassed I missed it, I just didn't see…
But I'm not as embarrassed as you're going to be.

If you'd listened more closely while arguing choices,
You'd have noticed a similar tweet to your voices―
You're two of a kind!" the cow giggled again,
"Except one is a cock and the other a hen!"

The feathered pair stiffened with sudden surprise
As they gazed at each other through unfettered eyes,
Then with flutter of heart and a quiver of wing,
They both puffed out their chests and they started to sing.

When highs and the lows of their voices combined,
They produced a harmonious sound undefined
Which embraced all of Eden like heaven unfurled…

…And that is how Birdsong came into the world.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Goergen08/15/13
Ballad of the Birdsong…clever, creative, cute and what a fun, entertaining read!
Mike Newman08/16/13
I really enjoyed it, we'll done.
lynn gipson 08/16/13
I am smiling from ear to ear. This is precious. I am going to read it to my granddaughter. As usual, your work is superb! Thanks for sharing.
Noel Mitaxa 08/16/13
I never suspected such fowl deeds, but this is very clever - in how you have framed it and tucked some fun into the close.
Well done.
Rachel Malcolm 08/16/13
Wonderful! For some reason the cow kneeling between them just brought it to life and I could picture everything. This was so much fun to read!
Linda Berg 08/18/13
This was so engaging. Your word pictures were descriptive and brought the whole scene between the two fowl and the cow right to my mind's eye.
Ellen Carr 08/18/13
I love this poem! I love how the cow (Who was several times smarter than cows living now)solved the problem and they realised they were the same species! Very creative, amusing and well written.
Melanie Kerr 08/19/13
Bovine-to-bird...how delightfully absurd. Top class story telling in verse.
Judith Gayle Smith08/19/13
Sheer delight! Methinks a major winner here, but I will have to check with Ms. Bovine to make sure - she is wise beyond my years.

My crazy mindset immediately ran to Peacock and Mallard - so I am just as embarrassed as Eden's pair of lovebirds. You are in my "favorites". I pray you use your wondrous gift to bless us all with an "Aesop's Fables"-like adults/children book!
C D Swanson 08/20/13
Smiling really wide! Excellent job.

God bless~
lynn gipson 08/22/13
Many congrats!!!!
C D Swanson 08/22/13
Congrats! God bless~
Linda Goergen08/22/13
Congratulations Kenn on your well deserved win for this great poem!
Beth LaBuff 08/22/13
This is completely enchanting and entertaining. Superb work! Congrats on another EC!!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/22/13
Congratulations--Made me smile . . . again!
Carolyn Ancell08/22/13
Absolutely beautiful, and so much fun to read! Three tummies! Congratulations!
Danielle King 08/23/13
This is so clever, cute, funny and entertaining. I love it! Congrats.
Sharon Eastman08/24/13
I don't know how you do it. Tale telling in beautiful, rhythmic form. I loved this poem and your style.
Bea Edwards 08/24/13
Your 'Birdsong' flowed and rolled across my mind so beautifully I began to sing it as I read.
Another amazingly crafted and unique piece. Congrats on your win!
Charla Diehl 08/25/13
This is wonderfully worded, fun, entertaining and the sum of all the above comments. It's never a surprise to see your name on the EC list as everything you create is deserving of being there. So yes, I applaud another of your great entries.